Manchester City Favored Over Liverpool in Expected Two-Way Race for EPL Title

Posted on: August 4, 2019, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: August 3, 2019, 12:52h.

Bookmakers expect a repeat of last season’s thrilling English Premier League title chase, with FanDuel Sportsbook making Manchester City (-230) the favorite over Liverpool (+260) to win its third straight EPL crown.

Manchester City Liverpool EPL
The addition of Rodri (center) has made Manchester City a clear favorite over Liverpool to win the EPL title next season. (Image: Getty)

The 2018-2019 race came down to the final day of the season, with Man City clinging to a one-point lead over Liverpool when the final whistles blew.

City Breaks the Bank for Rodri

Liverpool finished with 97 points in the campaign, the second-most in the history of the EPL. But it still wasn’t enough to chase down Man City, who set a league record with 98 points on the season.

The two clubs are once again expected to be head and shoulders above the competition in the 2019-2020 season. But while the Reds didn’t make any significant signings over the summer, Man City made the most expensive transfer purchase in the team’s history, spending £63 million ($76.6 million) to bring in midfielder Rodri from Atletico Madrid.

EPL Title Odds (Via FanDuel Sportsbook)

  • Manchester City (-230)
  • Liverpool (+260)
  • Tottenham (+1900)
  • Chelsea (+3400)
  • Manchester United (+3800)
  • Arsenal (+5500)

The fact that Liverpool didn’t make any additions a season after winning the Champions League surprised many pundits. But according to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, that’s just the financial reality his club has to live with.

We are not in this fantasia land where you just get whatever you want,” Klopp told reporters last week. “You cannot do it constantly. It looks like there are four clubs in the world you can do it constantly: Madrid, Barcelona, City, and PSG. Whatever they need, they do. You cannot compare that. That is the situation.”

Those comments got under the skin of Man City manager Pep Guardiola, who said even his team can’t spend big money on transfers every year.

“It bothers me because it’s not true that we spent £200 million ($243 million) every window,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday. “Last season we spent £17 million ($20.7 million) on just one player. Two seasons ago when we spent a lot, it’s because I took over a team with 10 or 11 players aged 30 or over, so I had to do it. But we cannot spend £200 million every season.”

Community Shield Could Preview EPL Title Chase

Those likely won’t be the only back-and-forth we’ll see from the two managers this season. The rivalry between Liverpool and Man City will begin on Sunday, when the two sides meet for the FA Community Shield, the traditional charity game between the EPL winners and the FA Cup winners from the past season.

Since City won both competitions, Liverpool has taken the other spot in the match as the Premier League runner up. Man City is a -110 favorite to win the Community Shield, with Liverpool fetching +280 odds, while a draw is posted at +260.

The EPL season proper begins the next weekend. That seems wrong to Klopp, as his team had less than two months off between the Champions League final and the Community Shield, with many players also having a busy summer with their national teams.

“Italy has 20 teams as well and starts the season on August 24,” Klopp told the media. “I don’t know why we start so early. Next year it’s [Copa America] and the Euros and we start, I think, the same week. I don’t know why.”

Of course, there are 18 other teams who will also be playing in the EPL, even if most of the world expects them all to be also-rans. Of that group, Tottenham (+1900) is given the best chance of making a surprise run, which wouldn’t be unprecedented: Spurs hung tough with City and Liverpool for about three-quarters of last season, though they faded late to finish in fourth place.